Must be read while listening to ‘I wear my sunglass at night‘ By Corey Hart…

Having recently suffered a hayfever-related, puffy-eyed beauty disaster that required an instant sunglasses-shaped disguise, I’ve realised how important it is to have a great pair of sunnies to hand at all times. Even if the sun isn’t beaming down from a clear blue sky, our eyes can still be at risk of UV damage, or we could still find ourselves squinting in the hazy brightness of a particularly humid day – not to mention the odd requirement to cover up tired, post-party eyes or of course horrid hayfever disasters! Sunglasses also add an expensive-looking finishing touch to your outfit; but which of the many styles stacked up on the racks are your failsafe favourites?


A classic, usually metal-framed design, popular with such stylish celebrities as Jessica Alba, Jennifer Aniston and the ultimate fashion bunny herself – Victoria Beckham, who has recently unveiled her own range of covetable designer eyewear. Aviators were originally designed by Ray-Ban in the 1930’s to protect the eyes of pilots – hence the name – and were offered for sale to the general public soon after. The slightly convex lens design aims to cover and protect the entire range of the human eye, making them both functional and fashionable. As their popularity has increased over the decades, so too has the number of designer and high street variations available to choose from according to your own personal taste – including plastic or coloured frames, different coloured lenses or an embellished bridge.

Cat Eye

Another vintage design, originally popular in the 1950’s and 60’s and favoured by such icons as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, cat eye sunglasses have flared outer edges where the frame joins the arms, giving a distinctly feminine shape. The shape lends itself to sometimes elaborate variation, such as intricately cut wings and glitzy embellishments which only add to the instant old-school Hollywood glamour.


Not just a shape; the large-lensed, usually plastic-framed style first found fame around the 1970’s, particularly teamed with the also oversized floppy hats that became equally iconic fashion pieces of the era. Covering a very large area of the face, this style gives a great sense of mystery as well as being perfect for covering my hayfever make-up mishap! Being available in many different shapes and ranging from the large to the extremely large, it is hard to imagine a face shape that wouldn’t be suited to some form of oversized shades.

RoundA potentially difficult shape to pull off, but perfect for those with an eclectic dress sense and instantly recognisable as the preferred style of one John Lennon. Like the other styles I have mentioned, the perfect circle-shaped design is available in many variations – metal-framed, plastic-framed, coloured, thick-rimmed – but ultimately are a very brave fashion choice and not one that should be taken lightly.

I am obviously an advocate of the oversized sunglasses and will no longer make the mistake of leaving the house without my faithful River Island pair in my handbag. Here’s one final piece of advice – invest in a glasses case to protect your shades from the inevitable dust, scratches or potential for crushing involved in being a handbag staple!

By Louise Hayward

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